Thursday, 19 November 2020
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Pearse Doherty (Donegal, Sinn Fein)
The Tánaiste talks about the separation of powers. He was Taoiseach. He facilitated the then Minister for Justice and Equality coming here three years ago to answer questions on the process, not in Private Members' time. That is what the Opposition and the leader of my party are looking for. We asked the Tánaiste specific questions, but he did not answer one of them. When did he tell the leaders of Fianna Fáil and the Green Party that Mr. Justice Woulfe had come through the JAAB process? Did he know of the other three applications that came from the judges, since there was a secondary process? If so, who told him? If he knew, why did he not tell any other Cabinet colleagues? Did he discuss this issue with the former Minister for Justice and Equality or the current Minister for Justice? Will he accept that while one name may be recommended to the Cabinet, in the past it has been common that the list of other applicants was also presented to the Cabinet?
Will the Tánaiste stop obfuscating and trying to shy away from accountability? He stood in this Chamber two weeks ago and said there would not be a problem with giving the documents relating to the controversy over documents he leaked. Three weeks on, we do not have a shred of paper despite the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Minister for Health saying that all of those documents would be made available. What is the problem? Is it not the case that the Tánaiste does not want the Minister for Justice to answer direct questions from Members of the Opposition because there is an issue regarding the process that Deputy Varadkar, as Taoiseach, was overseeing, rather than the merits of the candidate?